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13 Dec 2018 Regarding Member 395’s comment ‘Name change failure’

TaxVine 46 (30 November 2018) 

ATO response: 

To maintain the integrity of the information we hold, and to minimise the risk of fraud and/or unauthorised access, our policies and procedures require an individual to establish their identity when a tax file number is issued, during subsequent interactions, and before details are updated. 

Notification of a name change cannot be made through the lodgment of the individual income tax return. Client names on Individual income tax returns lodged through the PLS or via paper must match the ATO record. If a change of name has not been verified and updated in our records before lodging the return, the notice of assessment will display the taxpayer’s prior name as held by us. The purpose of the question is not to facilitate an individual’s name being updated via their income tax return. Rather, it is to prompt an individual to update their details with the ATO. There is information on Updating Client Details which provides you with the steps to take should you need to lodge returns under a name that is not current with ATO records, or update client details.   

Our tax system relies on the accuracy and integrity of the information we hold. Before we change their core registration details (including name), the ATO must be satisfied as to the identity of the person requesting the change. Accordingly, an individual must provide at least one of the following identity documents:

  1.        Australian birth certificate (full certificate, not an extract)
  2.        Australian marriage certificate
  3.        Australian change of name certificate 

We will take this as an opportunity to review the current Individual Income Tax Return change of name field and process.


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